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Type of Income Tax Assessments

Assessment means checking, judging or in simple words computing the income and tax on it. In the Income Tax Act there are four types of Assessment:

1. Self assessment u/s 140A.
2. Scrutiny assessment u/s 143(3).
3. Best judgment assessment u/s 144.
4. Income escaping assessment u/s 147.




Self Assessment u/s 140A
After the end of the financial year every person who is required to file income tax return, should file his return of income. Thus, an assessee himself files his return of income, and pay tax as per the return of income filed. This process of self-calculation of income and tax is called self-assessment. Since the tax and income under return of income is calculated by assessee himself therefore, it is called self-assessment. The Assessing Officer (AO) only checks the return of income on the face of it and corrects the mistake, if any on it. If there is any short of tax he call for it and if there is any excess of tax paid he shall refund the same.

Scrutiny Assessment U/S 143(3)
On the basis of return of income filed, Assessing Officer may undertake examination of some return of income roughly 2% to 3% of the total returns filed. In scrutiny assessment the AO calls the assessee to furnish the explanations and books of accounts. For undertaking the scrutiny assessment the AO has to issue a notice to the assessee under section 143(2). If Assessee produces the information and explanations required by the Assessing Officer (AO) the AO completes the assessment and determine the Taxable income and income tax liability on the basis of the information and explanations produced before him.

Best Judgment Assessment U/S 144
Best Judgment Assessment, as the name indicates Best Judgment Assessment means the computation of income and tax is undertaken by the Assessing Officer himself, on the basis of the best of his judgment. The Best judgment Assessment can be made by an Assessing Officer under the following cases:

1. Assessee does not file his regular return of income u/s 139
2. Assessee does not comply with instructions u/s 142 (1), i.e., notice requiring to file his return of income or 142 (2A), i.e., notice requiring assessee to conduct audit of his accounts.
3. Assessee does not comply with instructions u/s 143(2), i.e., notice of scrutiny assessment.
4. AO is not satisfied regarding completeness of accounts.


Since in all of the above cases either assess does not cooperate with the Assessing Officer (AO) or does not file return of income or does not have complete accounts. Thus, the assessing officer cannot calculate the income and therefore, he has to judge the income on the basis of his best
assumptions/judgments. The AO must give a hearing to the assessee before completing the assessment as per best of his judgment. No refund can be granted under best judgment assessment.

Income Escaping Assessment U/S 147
If the Assessing Officer believes that the income of assessee of any Previous Year has escaped assessment, the AO can reopen the assessment and complete it as per new information about income or tax. Assessment up to last 6 years can be opened. In order to open an income escaping assessment AO has to issue notice u/s 148 to the assessee.

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